Monthly Archives: January 2012

Gallagher/Fyrer lead Ipswich past Georgetown (55-51) in boys basketball

Brenden Gallagher steps back after making the first of two clutch free throws.

Erik Fyrer – 21 points

(Georgetown) Brenden Gallagher had an assist and two free throws in the last thirty seconds to help Ipswich get past Georgetown, 55-51, in non-league action on Monday night at GHS.

The Tigers defeated the Royals on January 13th (61-41) at Ipswich but this one was much more of a struggle.  The home team went down by eleven (34-23) early in the third quarter but fought all the way back to a 40-40 tie early in the final quarter.

Ipswich went up by six a couple of times after that (48-42 & 50-44) before three straight Tyler Wade assisted baskets knotted the score at 50-50 with ninety seconds left.  During the Royal comeback, 6-6 Pat Bjork twice rushed back to intimidate Ipswich shooters (Dan O’Flynn and Matt Jaeger) on breakaways.

Erik Fyrer (21 points) and Cesar Miranda-Black (14 points) traded single free throws (51-51) before Erik cut down the lane and received a perfect pass from Brenden Gallagher for the go-ahead layin with thirty second left.

A Pat Bjork miss and Jon Fierro’s block of Cesar Miranda-Black’s rebound attempt gave the ball back to the Tigers with thirteen seconds left.  Brenden Gallagher was immediately fouled and made both freebies despite plenty of noise from the Georgetown student section.

Pat Bjork (#31) hustles back on defense

Now up four (55-51) the Tiger defense put heavy defense on Tyler Wade and he wasn’t able to get off a quick three instead had to settle for a wild three that ended the contest.

Erik Fyrer (21 points) had a big game.  The 6-4 sophomore converted six offensive rebounds into points.  He also had a steal on an inbounds pass for an easy layup.

Senior Jon Fierro had three blocks including the one very late as G’Town tried to tie the score.

Brenden Gallagher (8 points and 3 assists) defended Tyler Wade into a quiet (for him) nine points.  Tyler had seventeen in the first meeting.

Cesar Miranda-Black (14 points) did his damage in close.

Georgetown was 12-for-21 shooting free throws – Ipswich 11-for-15.

Christian Gesualdi made the Royals only 3.  Matt Jaeger and Dan O’Flynn (10 points) had long ones for the Tigers.

Georgetown ( 1-6 in the Cape Ann League / 4-10 overall ) is at North Reading tomorrow (Tuesday). The Royals have lost eight of their last nine.

Ipswich ( 2-5 in the CAL / 4-9 overall ) has now won three of their last five.  They host Lynnfield on February 3rd.

Ipswich boxscore

Georgetown boxscore

(All of the pictures above and below enlarge significantly if you click on them.)

Georgetown cheerleaders

Dan OFlynn and Christian Gesualdi

Cesar Miranda-Black

Tyler Wade and Brenden Gallagher

Mike Bjork and Tyler Hale

Jon Fierro goes for block

Erik Fyrer pressures inbounder Ben Warren

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Solid ending gets Pentucket past Masconomet (57-54) in girls basketball

Coley Viselli (16 points) made three free throws in the last fourteen seconds to seal the Pentucket win.

Chelsea Nason (17 points) connected on five triples.

(Topsfield)  Before a sizable Sunday afternoon crowd, Pentucket turned a strong final two minutes into a, 57-54, win over Masconomet in a matchup between two of the best girls teams in the state.

Evenly matched?  How about eleven ties over the course of the game with five of them in the frantic last quarter?

After the last tie (47-47) with 2:54 left, Masco broke out with a triple by Chelsea Nason (17 points) and two Danielle Davis (9 points) free throws to get up by five (52-47) with 2:13 left.

Pentucket’s response won the game for them.  Two freebies by Sarah Higgins (she was an amazing 9-for-9 from the line), a driving layup by Alex Moore, and gutsy triple by Alex (from Kelsi McNamara) went unanswered by the Chieftains.  This consecutive action put the Sachems on top, 54-52, with thirty seconds left.

Masco’s Katie Hutchinson missed the front end of a one-and-one with fifteen seconds left.  Coley Viselli (16 points) took the rebound and was immediately fouled.  She made both free throws to stretch the Pentucket advantage to 56-52.

Coley Viselli shoots a three as Chelsea Nason defends

Brooke Stewart (8 points) drove the length of the court to close her team’s deficit to two (56-54) with six seconds left.  Coley Viselli received the inbounds pass and Chelsea Nason (5th foul) sent her to the foul line with five seconds left.

Coley missed the first and made the second.  Danielle Davis dribbled to midcourt before attempting a tying long one that went wide as time ran out.

If Chelsea Nason hadn’t fouled out she probably would have been the one taking the last shot.  She had connected on five 3’s during the game.

The foul shooting was excellent for both teams.  Pentucket made 21-of-25 while Masco hit 10-of-13.

The Chieftains started the second period with six unanswered points (21-15) before the Sachems strung thirteen unanswered back (28-21) over the next eight minutes of playing time stretching into the third quarter.

Chelsea Nason’s triple midway through the third quarter finished Masco’s rally back to a 32-32 tie. Seven ties followed the rest of the way.  Pentucket closed with a 10-2 game-decider.

Alex Moore chases Brooke Stewart

Pentucket (7-0 in Cape Ann League D1 / 11-4 overall) lost Tess Nogueira (groin injury) with a minute left in the third quarter and the score tied at 37-37.  I thought at the time that Pentucket might be in serious trouble because Tess had shadowed Brooke Stewart into a non-factor status.  But Alex Moore took over and, although at least six inches shorter than Brooke, was able to limit the talented senior to just four points the rest of the way.

Besides the good fill-in defense, Alex (13 points) put up seven in the final quarter including the go-ahead triple with thirty seconds left.

Masco (5-1 in CAL / 9-2 overall) had won seven of their last eight games before today’s loss.  I saw them defeat a highly regarded Central Catholic team in Lawrence last Sunday.

Both Masco and Pentucket are in Division 1 of the Cape Ann League.  When it comes to the MIAA tournament, however, Pentucket slides down to Division 3. Could that have been why St. Mary’s Jeff Newman was in the house??  I saw Jeff’s Spartans oust Pentucket from the tournament last year at Wilmington.

Two of the most sideline-active coaches were in action today and it was hard not to watch them even as the game was going on.

Bob Romeo (Masco) is at least 6’5” with a loud voice.  Dressed in a pink shirt for the Coaches vs. Cancer event he was pretty hard to miss.

Pentucket coach John McNamara gets a technical in the 4th quarter.

Meanwhile, down the other end was Pentucket’s John McNamara.  He spent more time on the court than most of his players.  I did see him kick the bench – I have a coaching friend who broke a toe doing that.  John had a legitimate complain late in the game when someone in the Masco band used their trumpet (?) as a noisemaker while Coley Viselli was shooting free throws.  Earlier, with 4:16 left John got hit with a technical foul.  Brooke Stewart made both technical foul shots.

I guess it begs the question, why are coaches allowed on the floor when the game is going on?  At the least, it is very dangerous.  What do the rules say??

Both coaches have tremendous records and produce competitive teams year after year.  Graduation never seems to slow them down.

Brooke Stewart (8 points) was overheard saying at halftime that she “had a blister the size of Mexico.”  That’s big and surely a distraction.

Pentucket has won eight of their last nine.  They are at Manchester-Essex on February 3rd.

Masco hosts Hamilton-Wenham on January 31st.

Driving bare roads with snow nowhere in sight on January 29th?  Delightful!

Pentucket box score

Masconomet box score

(The pictures above and below all enlarge if you click on them.)

Danielle Davis on her way to last shot

Kelsi McNamara

Alex Moore

Sarah Higgins looks for an opening

Tess Nogueira drives – Katie Hutchinson defends

Brooke Stewart and Sarah Higgins eye rebound

Claudia Marsh

Masco student section

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Super Start Earns Ipswich a 70-54 Win Over Amesbury in Boys Basketball

Erik Fyrer attempting layup. The 6-4 sophomore finished with twenty-one points and sixteen rebounds.

Brenden Gallagher – 12 points

Dan OFlynn – 18 points

(Ipswich)  I am not sure that the Ipswich Tigers could play any better.

The Tigers demolished Amesbury, 70-54, in a Cape Ann League game on Friday night at Ipswich.

Ipswich (2-5 Cape Ann League / 3-9 overall) put an excellent everything on the Indians for 1 ½ quarters and presto the visitors were looking at a 31-7 deficit.

You want defense.  The Tiger pressure forced eleven Amesbury first half turnovers.

You want scoring.  Ipswich had 6-4 Erik Fyrer (21 points) dominating in the paint while Brenden Gallagher (12 points with three 3’s) and Dan O’Flynn (18 points with four 3’s) stroked accurately from long range.  It was quite a show.

Amesbury had defeated Ipswich in the first meeting (60-56) in overtime and had won three of their last five so there wasn’t any certainty even with a 31-7 lead that the Tigers (losers of seven of their last eight) could hold the lead.  But they did.

Mike Zelinsky (16 points) in the lane

Amesbury (1-5 in CAL / 4-10 overall) actually “won” the last 2 ½ quarters (47-39) mostly via the long ball – they made nine of them.  However, that early deficit was way too much to recover from.

Ipswich would get the lead to 38-11 on a Louie Galanis triple from Brenden Gallagher with less than two minutes in the first half.  Early in the final quarter a couple of 3’s by Dan O’Flynn pushed the Tigers ahead, 58-32.

The Indians answered with two minutes of their best basketball, running ten straight thanks to 3’s from Curran O’Connor and Tommy Connors and layups by Matt Talbot and Jack Fortin.  This rush of points caused Tiger coach Alan LaRoche to call a timeout, as his team’s twenty-six point lead had shrunk to sixteen.

I heard shouting during the timeout and the Tigers responded in the next minute with a jumper from Tyler Hale and a three from Dan O’Flynn, both hoops assisted by Erik Fyrer.  This put the lead back into the comfort zone and both team’s reserves finished out the last four minutes.

Erik Fyrer had a terrific game.  In the first meeting, Erik got into foul trouble and played short minutes.  Not this time.  The sophomore was a big part of the Tigers’ fast start, collecting ten points early on.  He owned the boards too, grabbing sixteen rebounds (Thanks, Mitch MacDonald) and blocked several shots.  The normal righty showed a good left hand on one inside move.

Matt Talbot (14 points) in Ipswich traffic

Mike Zelinksy (16), Matt Talbot (14), and Tommy Connors (11) led the Amesbury scorers.

Mike tossed up a no-look, backhanded layup that had no business going in……..but did.

The Ipswich student section and the Amesbury student section did their best to out-do each other.  Tough for the Amesbury kids since their team trailed big early and never really threatened to overtake the Tigers.

Ipswich next plays at Georgetown on January 30th.  I saw Ipswich defeat G’Town in the first meeting.

Amesbury gets Lynnfield at home on January 31st.

Ipswich boxscore

Amesbury boxscore

(The pictures above and below will all enlarge if you click on them.)

where is the ball

Erik Fyrer and Curran OConnor

Dan OFlynn looks to pass

Erik Fyrer block of Matt Talbot shot

Louie Galanis draws charge from Devlin Gobeil

Tommy Connors

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Andover stays undefeated….barely with 53-52 win over Billerica in girls basketball

Nicole Boudreau (23 points) also blocked shots in the Andover win.

Billerica was hurt by missed free throws (four) in the last 1 1/2 minutes of this close game.

(Andover) The undefeated (13-0) Andover Golden Warriors got their first taste of a close game this season and hung on to defeat the Billerica Indians, 53-52, in front of a good crowd at AHS on Thursday night.

Andover, led by Nicole Boudreau (23 points), put their points up in bunches nailing ten long ones.  Nicole connected on six triples.

The resiliency of the Indians (11-2) was impressive.  The Warriors hit them with a 14-3 run in the second period and they trailed, 26-15.  In the fourth period it was a 13-2 run that had them trailing, 53-46. But they rallied back both times.

While Andover relied heavily on an outside game, the Indians did their damage inside.  Of their eighteen baskets, sixteen were from in close.

Down 26-15, just 2 ½ minutes into the second quarter, it appeared that Billerica was on its way to losing badly.  (Andover had won its first twelve games by an average of twenty-two points.)  But the Indians followed with a 23-9 segment and had a 38-35 lead with three minutes left in the third quarter.  Three old-fashioned 3’s by Joslyn King (14 points), Danielle Nickerson (9 points), and Kayla Leverone (10 points) were highlights in the Billerica comeback.

Early in the final quarter, a well-executed inbounds play turned up Billerica’s only successful triple (Kayla Leverone) and the visitors had their biggest lead (44-40) of the game and had their fans sensing the upset.

Angelice Gonzales – scored the winning basket after stealing an inbounds pass

But this is two-time D1 defending state champs Andover were talking about.  Big crowds.  Big games.  Been there…done it.  That’s why the 13-2 response they put together wasn’t surprising.  The long ones played a part (two by Ally Fazio & one by Nicole Boudreau), as did two free throws (Nicole).  But the biggest basket of the game, in fact, the actual game winner, was a “pick-two” by junior Angelica Gonzales (6 points) with four minutes left that put the Warriors ahead, 53-46.

The last four minutes of the game were all Billerica and you’re about to find out how close they came to actually winning this one.

First of all, the last two points Billerica scored were on a putback by Joslyn King at the buzzer.  Andover wasn’t exactly trying to stop her from getting two points because they had a 3-point lead.  Their worry was the game-tying attempt by Brittany Lomanno (8 points) just before that.

That last-second Joslyn basket would have truly meant something if the Indians had not missed four of eight free throws in the last 1 ½ minutes.  Shannon Hughes, Danielle Nickerson, and Kayla Leverone each had crucial misses.  Danielle’s was the toughest because she actually made hers but stepped over the line too quickly to go after a possible miss.

Joslyn King (6-1?) did a great job of discouraging Andover inside attempts, although the Warriors seemed very content to fire from downtown.

Nicole Boudreau had several blocks and a few others that looked like blocks but turned out to be fouls.

Ally Fazio – two big triples in the final quarter

Ally Fazio (6 points) took three quarters to hone in from the outside.  She had a number of air balls but never stopped shooting.  The two she made in the final quarter were huge.

Andover threw heavy defensive pressure at Billerica especially in the backcourt.  I thought that the Indians did a pretty good job breaking it and going on for layup attempts.

The only loss Billerica had prior to tonight was against Pentucket.  The Sachems are swarming full-court defenders with a love of the long shot.

There is an Andover/Billerica rematch on February 14th at Billerica.  That should be a good take!

It is common knowledge that Nicole will be playing for Boston College next season.  What I also learned about her was that she carries a 4.0 GPA and is the defending junior champion at Andover Country Club.

Andover box score

Billerica box score

(The pictures above and below will enlarge significantly if you click on them.)

Nicole Boudreau blocks Danielle Nickerson

tight defense?

Danielle Nickerson

Nicole Boudreau double-teamed

Joslyn King (14 points)

Jackie Alois layup

Brittany Lomanno

Nicole Boudreau triple as BHS coach Chris Doneski watches

Kayla Leverone and Devon Caveney

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Governor’s Academy Buries Kent’s Hill in Boys Basketball 82-40 Led by Duncan Robinson (32 points)

Duncan Robinson poured 32 points on Kents Hill including this early jam.

Eli Roberts had nineteen points for overmatched Kents Hill.

(Byfield) When a private school in Class C plays against a bigger Class B school, you can get a mismatch.

Such was the case as Governor’s Academy (9-3) crushed Kent’s Hill (Maine), 82-40, on Wednesday afternoon.

The vastly undersized Huskies (3-5) had multiple shots maybe two or three times during the entire game.

Meanwhile, the Govs’ eyes lit up as they got to shoot against a zone defense for the full thirty-two minutes……and did they shoot!  How does connecting on eleven 3’s sound?

Duncan Robinson (32 points) scored from just about everywhere and made it look easy.  The 6-6 senior had dunks, jumpers, layups, and 3’s.  The only missing piece was free throws because there just wasn’t enough Huskie defense when the Gov starters were in.

Seldom seen Max George (17 points) connected on five triples.  Stephen Basden had nine points and five assists.

Eli Roberts paced the Huskies with nineteen points.

The Govs jumped off to an 11-1 start in the first 3 ½ minutes and never looked back.  Duncan Robinson set the tone taking the opening tip in for a layup and followed that with a steal that ended with a dunk.

Max George (17 points) came off the bench to nail five triples.

The lead stabilized to 19-8 with Eli Roberts getting all of KH’s points.  The wheels fell off for the visitors over the next 1 ½ minutes as GA ran ten unanswered almost entirely on the inside – so much for a zone defending in close to the basket!

That 29-8 spread was 38-19 at halftime.

GA coach Mike Williams had substituted quickly and liberally in the first half.  He returned the starters to the floor at the outset of the second half and we were treated to The Duncan Robinson Show.

Duncan put together a twelve point run by himself and was assisted on four of the five baskets he made.  We saw two layups, a tip in, a dunk, and a triple.  Quite the show!

That “show” extended the GA lead to, 50-23, with nearly eleven minutes left.

But there was more.  After baskets by O’Shea Bell and Eli Roberts, the Gov put together a 14-1 segment in three minutes.  Duncan had three 3’s during this burst and assisted on Kam Nobles triple.  So now it was 64-28 with nearly nine minutes left.  All reserves the rest of the way to the 82-40 end.

The lighting at Governor’s continues to be a mystery to this amateur photographer.  Stationary shots…..not so bad.  Action shots……work in progress.  I’m quite sure that brighter lights in that place would help.

The number of wide open looks amazed me.  I saw the GA/Andover game and the only open shots were in warm-ups!

Governor’s boxscore

Kent’s Hill boxscore

(The pictures above and below will enlarge if you click on them.)

Duncan Robinson

Joe Kuo defended by Luka Dow

Kam Nobles layup past Eli Roberts

Ethan Feldman defended by Eli Earley

Joe Kuo goes for block against Cam Dow

OShea Bell

Robin Bodin

Stephen Basden layup

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Strong Finish Gets Hamilton-Wenham Past Newburyport 55-50 in Boys Basketball

Shane Jenkins scores a crucial basket in the last minute with a backdoor cut and getting a pass from Stephen Tam.

Colton Fontaine (12 points) drives past Jimmy Campbell

(Newburyport)  Hamilton-Wenham (8-3) broke away from a 47-47 tie in the last two minutes and defeated Newburyport, 55-50, on a warm Tuesday night at Newburyport.

The Clippers (10-3) had won the December meeting between these two (45-39) at HW. In this one the home team couldn’t hold a ten-point (30-20) second quarter lead or execute very well on either end in the final two minutes and it cost them dearly.

While the Generals looked to be in deep trouble trailing by ten points in the second quarter, the Clippers looked done when they fell behind, 45-39, in the fourth quarter.  Both teams recovered nicely and turned it into an exciting two-minute game.

Freshman James Foye (10 points) opened the scoring in the “end game” with two clutch free throws.  After a Newburyport miss, Stephen Tam (12 points) dribbled around near the top of the key appearing to be intent on taking a shot.  Wrong assumption!  Shane Jenkins (9 points) made a backdoor cut and caught the Clippers napping and made a layup.  Then a Colby Morris turnover sent James Foye off for another layup.  That put the Generals ahead by six (53-47) with only twenty-eight seconds left.

Two key free throws by freshman James Foye (10 points) late

A triple by Colby Morris (11 points), assisted by Brett Fontaine, quickly had Newburyport within three with twenty-two seconds left.  After a timeout, the pressuring Clippers got the turnover they needed but just as quickly turned the ball back over to HW.  Off went Stephen Tam with the fumble for another layup and this game was over.

Tough loss for the Clippers.  This makes them 4-2 in the Cape Ann League D2 standings.  HW is now 4-1. The Generals have won the division the last two seasons.

Newburyport got that ten-point lead in the second quarter thanks to a 9-2 run over three minutes.  Colby Morris (11 points) had two assists and a triple in that surge.

It took HW 2 ½ minutes to get nine of those points back.  The killer basket in their nine straight was Jake Lindland’s desperation long one at the buzzer.  It was another case of Newburyport heavily defending Stephen Tam and last year’s CAL D2 Player of the Year finding an open teammate.

The Clippers looked cooked when HW put a 13-2 run on them during a 3-minute segment that stretched into the final quarter.  Stephen Tam scored off a turnover and added a three.  Ryan Richard came off the HW bench to contribute two baskets from in close.

Brett Fontaine (8 points) shoots over Shane Jenkins (9 points)

That 45-39 lead looked solid but four minutes later the hustling Clippers earned a 47-47 tie.  Two of the Clipper baskets were converted rebounds by Colton Fontaine (12 points) and Alex Losh (10 points).

Stephen Tam did a nice job defending Brett Fontaine.  Ian Michaels did the same defending Stephen Tam.

Ryan Willis (9 points) had three long ones for the Generals.

Colby Morris has three 3’s for Newburyport.

Senior Jake Lindland is recovering from a preseason knee injury.  His minutes have been limited so far.

Hamilton-Wenham was very content to run an offense on the perimeter looking for an opening for a long one.  The Clippers looked to get closer to the basket.

HW is 38-9 over the last 2+ seasons.

HW boxscore

Newburyport boxscore

(The pictures above and below will enlarge if you click on them.)

Stephen Tam

Jake Lindland (#3)

Brett Fontaine

Stephen Tam

Colby Morris

Ryan Beckett defends

Ian Michaels sees a lane

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Central Catholic Still Unbeaten – Rout St. John’s Prep 80-56

Steve Haladyna (10 points) closely guarded by Joel Berroa (#25 – 20 points) and Tyler Nelson (#11 – 11 points).

Lucas Hammel (11 points floats in)

(Lawrence) Central Catholic is good……..very good.

The Raiders (12-0) overwhelmed St. John’s Prep, 80-56, Sunday afternoon before a crowd that dwindled as the start of the Patriots/Ravens game neared.

It was hard tell which CC was better at, scoring or pressure defending, because they were impressive at both.

The Raiders were able to run an organized offense against a tight Eagle defense and found openings for nineteen layups.  They also hit from long range connecting on six triples.

Defensively, the combo of Joel Berroa and Lucas Hammel, kept the ball away from high-scoring Steve Haladyna.  (I saw Steve drop twenty-six on BC High on Friday night.)  In this one, his total was ten points with only two coming in the second half.

The Raiders inside players 6-4 Joel Berroa (20 points) and 6-5 Nick Cambio (16 points) produced the big numbers for the home team.  Nick hit three triples.

Mike Carbone defended by Doug Gemmell

Mike Carbone (18 points) carried the Eagles (9-3) in the second half with thirteen points.

St. John’s made a game of it for about six minutes trailing just 14-13 as Steve Haladyna got inside for three straight hoops.  Thereafter the denial defense on Steve kicked in and the Raider runs began.

A three by Luis Puello, and a couple of Lucas Hammel layups and the Raider lead jumped to ten (23-13) early in the second period.

The Eagles were able to hang around and trailed only 27-22 with 2:50 remaining in the first half.

Over the next 3:40 of playing time this game got away from the Eagles.  They searched for offense and gave up four layups and two long ones.  That nasty combo turned into a 15-2 Raider surge and CC led, 42-24, early in the second half.

Freddy Shove shoots over Nick Cambio as Coach Rick Nault watches

Central Catholic cruised along with a comfortable lead until early in the 4th quarter when their 62-45 advantage shrunk to 62-52 with six minutes left, after seven straight by the Eagles.

A timeout by CC coach Rick Nault seemed to straighten things out as all five starters scored in the next four minutes. The Raiders put a 12-1 hit on the Eagles and were in complete control 74-53.  The reserves from both sides filled out the final two minutes.

Raider coach Rick Nault picked up a technical foul in the second period.

Nick Cambio had a crowd-pleasing jam in the third quarter.

After seeing CC for the first time, it is not too difficult to imagine them playing at the Worcester Centrum in mid-March.  But on the other hand, the Raiders only beat Lawrence by two points and have a return engagement at Lawrence coming up. Let’s see how that goes first before making too many March assumptions.

Central Catholic boxscore

St. John’s Prep boxscore

(All of the pictures above and below enlarge if you click on them.)

Luis Puello shoots

sophomore Nick Cambio

Central Catholic cheerleaders

Joel Berroa surrounded by Eagles

Steve Haladyna scores

CC coach Rick Nault gets T

Freddy Shove goes up and over

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Steve Haladyna Leads St. John’s Prep Past Boston College High 58-45 in Boys Basketball

Steve Haladyna (26 points) played solid defense too.

Owen Marchetti (23) and Tyler Dooley (34) chase Charles Collins (14)

(Danvers) This game was about Steve Haladyna, tight defense, and pitiful foul shooting.

Steve Haladyna (26 points) tormented Boston College High on both ends of the court and led St. John’s Prep to a 58-45 victory in Catholic Conference action on Friday night at St. John’s.

Steve’s quickness enabled him to get shots where teammates were getting shots blocked.  He also had a hand in a number of BC High turnovers on the front of the St. John’s press.  His only problem was getting his fifth foul with four minutes left but by then the home team led, 57-38, and BC High was using reserves.

The defense was end-to-end by both teams.  Double-teams were frequent and turnovers were plentiful. Driving to the basket wasn’t such a good idea either because both teams could and did reject shots.  The referees weren’t buying the drive-and-flop routine so there were more than a few ugly shots taken as the drivers hit the deck and had to scramble to get back on defense.

The foul shooting was a serious problem for one team – BC High.  They were pitiful at both ends.  How does six-for-twenty-one sound!  Two of the misses were the front ends of 1-and-1’s.  The BC takeaway from this one could well be that if they had made their free throws they could have won the game.  I’m not sure about the winning part but as the stats indicate it sure would have been a heck of a lot closer if the freebies had fallen.

Steve Haladyna layup

With just the final score, you wouldn’t realize how this game went early on.  There were seven lead changes before a Mike Carbone (9 points) triple at 4:55 of the second period gave St. John’s the lead (22-19) for good.  St. John’s built their lead to 30-21 after two Steve Haladyna free throws before BC ran six straight to trail just, 30-27, one minute into the second half.  At this point, the outcome was far from decided.

In the next ten minutes of playing time it was.  The home Eagles were all over BC to the tune of 26-9 to build a decisive twenty point lead (56-36) with five minutes left in the game.  Not surprising to those on hand, Steve Haladyna (signed with Tufts) had half of St. John’s points including 7-of-8 from the foul line.

St. John’s (9-2) avenged a loss to BC High (9-3) on January 3rd (53-47) at BC High.

Coach Sean Connolly did not start his usual starters.  Could well have had everything to do with the Eagles last-game loss.

Jameilen Jones (#13) led BC High with ten points

Jameilen Jones led BC’s scorers with ten points.

The Boston Globe had BC High ranked 2nd in their Top Twenty poll and St. John’s 9th.  That will change.

On Sunday (1:30), St. John’s travels to Lawrence to play undefeated Central Catholic.  They’re ranked #1 by the Globe.  This game might be a nice appetizer before the Patriots game.

St. John’s boxscore

Boston College High boxscore

(All the pictures above and below enlarge if you click on them.)

Justin Roberts

Freddy Shove

Oderah Obukwelu

Muigai Unaka (5) and Drex Costello (33)

Mike McAuley looks for an opening

Mike Carbone

Jameilen Jones hits 3 at end of first quarter

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Filed under Boston College, St. John's Prep

Governor’s Academy Wins One-Point Thriller 56-55 Over Phillips Academy (Andover) in Boys Basketball

Joseph Kuo (18 points) puts in the game winner.

Ryan Hartung (21 points) at the foul line

(Byfield)  Phillips Academy (Andover) had three chances to tie or defeat Governor’s Academy in the final seven seconds but failed to do either losing, 56-55, at GA on Wednesday afternoon.

Ryan Hartung (21 points) had two free throws with seven seconds left and Big Blue down by one.  He had made four straight attempts in the game.  Surprisingly, he missed both in crunch time.  In the scramble for the rebound, Brendan O’Connell ended up with a shot in the lane that also missed before the ball rolled out of bounds as the game ended.

That’s how close the Govs came to losing this one.

As it turned out, the winning basket was a layup by Joseph Kuo (18 points) on a feed from Duncan Robinson (11 points) with 1:41 remaining.  As you can guess, there were plenty of “should of’s” and “could of’s” thereafter including the calamity for Andover in the last seven seconds.

GA (7-3) and Andover (5-7), in the first half, went back-and-forth with nine lead changes.  Ryan Hartung (6-5) converted a rebound at the buzzer to give Andover a 28-27 halftime advantage.

Ryan’s late hoop was part of an 11-point Blue run that ended up with them in front, 34-27, early in the second half.

Tate Jozokos (8 points) breakaway

The Govs spent most of the rest of the game closing on the Blue and then falling back.   The Blue lead went to eight (48-40) when Ryan Hartung successfully put back his own miss and later was seven (53-46) when Ryan connected on a triple assisted by Labaron Sylvester.

Ryan’s 3-pointer came with 5:20 to go.  After that?  Almost all downhill for the visitors over the last 5+ minutes.  How does two points sound???

While the Blue offense was set on cool the Govs heated up and put an 8-spot on them.  Inside work by 6-8 Joseph Kuo netted four points, and was followed by a Frank Barba jumper, and then a breakaway layup by Duncan Robinson off a Blue turnover.  Suddenly the Govs had the lead 54-53 with three minutes left.

After two missed free throws (Brendan O’Connell), Sahil Bhaiwala raced off with a breakaway layup to put Phillips Academy on top, 55-54, with two minutes remaining.

This would be PA’s last points and last lead as they suffered a frustrating loss.

Joseph Kuo and Thomas Palleschi battle

Big Thomas Palleschi (6-9/250) tallied twelve for Phillips.  His matchup with Joseph Kuo (6-8/180) was fun to watch.  In my opinion, PA didn’t work hard enough at getting the ball in to Thomas over the last part of the game – maybe Joseph’s defense had a lot to do with that.

Duncan Robinson added eleven points for the Govs and faced plenty of good defense from Ryan Hartung.

Governor’s box score

Phillip’s box score

(All the pictures above and below enlarge when you click on them.)

Ryan Hartung afterwards

Grant OBrien heads for the hoop

Duncan Robinson & Ryan Hartung

Thomas Palleschi & Tate Jozokos

Labaron Sylvester & Cam Nobles

Ryan Hartung drives

Sahil Bhaiwala looks for an opening

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Newburyport Defeats Marblehead With Late Surge 43-25 in Girls Basketball

Beth Castantini (20 points) puts up a lefthanded layup.

Emily Freedland (8 points) defends Aly Leahy (12 points).

(Newburyport) Newburyport defeated non-league Marblehead, 43-25, thanks to dominating (16-3) final quarter on Monday (MLK Day) afternoon at NHS.

This game was as much about who didn’t play as it was about who did.  Kathryn DiGiammarino and Sydney Pliner for the Magicians and Molly Rowe for the Clippers did not play.  All three girls had injuries.

(To get a sense of the level of loss this was: Kathryn had twenty rebounds and fourteen points in Marblehead’s last game, Sydney generally defends the other team’s best player, and I saw Molly put up twenty-six points and handle the ball versus pressure against a strong Ipswich team.)

Let’s just say both coaches (Greg Dollas & Skip Likins) were looking at Plan B in this matchup.

Beth Castantini layup in traffic

How did Newburyport (8-3) win the game?  The Magicians had no answers for Beth Castantini.  The Clipper senior saw large and small defenders but never was discouraged from taking shots and putting up twenty points.  She dominated the boards and held Marblehead’s inside player (Lindsey Cohen) to a quiet four points.

Minus someone to defend Beth, the Magicians (7-5) were going to have to score a lot of points to win.

But, this is one of those games where the final score would give the wrong impression of how the game went.  That’s one of the reasons I script games……so I can sort games out for those who are interested yet couldn’t attend them.

Marblehead, despite its undermanned status, was very much in this one until the final quarter.  How?  They refused to go away.  Down 15-4, after four minutes in the second period, they put together a 12-4 response to trail just, 19-16, three minutes into the third quarter.

The Magician rally featured making eight of ten free throw attempts plus two McKenna Barrett layups.

McKenna Barrett layup

The visitors completed the comeback when a McKenna jump shot tied the score at 22-22 with only a minute to go in the third quarter.  Unfortunately, for Marblehead, the rest of the quarter shows a Beth Castantini triple, two missed free throws (Mia Bongiorno), and two Aly Leahy free throws – 27-22 after three periods.

The fourth quarter started harmlessly enough – an Emily Freedland layup and a McKenna free throw surrounded a Beth Castantini converted rebound of her own miss – 29-25 with 6:50 left.  No one on hand expected what happened the rest of the way.

Marblehead didn’t score another point while the Clippers totaled fourteen.  That’s a long time to go scoreless……and very frustrating to be on the scoreless end.  Coach Skip Likins picked up a technical near the end and was seen looking for the names of the officials afterwards.

Aly Leahy (12 points) scored seven in the final run including 3-of-4 from the foul line.

Emily Freedland was Marblehead’s top scorer with eight points.

The effects of an afternoon holiday game?  The Clippers missed five shots on their first possession and neither team scored during the first four minutes.

A key in this game was Aly Leahy’s ability to handle Marblehead pressure.  Usually she shares that responsibility with Molly Rowe.

Mark Rowe & Molly Rowe

Molly was in uniform and looked ready to play despite an icepack on her knee before the game.  Instead, she sat this one out next to her father on the NHS bench.

Newburyport’s next game is home on Friday night against North Reading.

Why is this entry so late?  Good question.  I had the opportunity to go to the Celtics reunion with Kendrick Perkins (Oklahoma City Thunder) and took it.  TNT made a game that started shortly after eight last nearly three hours.  Then the ride home……….Route 1 and 128 snowy, icy and untreated!  That resulted in an arrival time home (Newburyport) after 12:30AM.  That’s the best excuse I could think of for the delay………and I’m sticking with it!

(All the pictures above and below will enlarge if you click on them.)

Beth Castantini fouled

Lindsey Cohen shoots against Lea Tomasz

McKenna Barrett (20) & Mary Pettigrew (33)

Mia Bongiorno collides with Cady Bennett

Lindsey Cohen shoots – Casey Barlow defends.

Emily Freedland shoots free throws at the end of first half.

Caroline Helms

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